My intro-how does this sound?

Discuss rat companionship, introductions and behavioural problems such as biting or shyness or tell us about your rat's unusual habits.
User avatar
ratfan70
Member
Member
Posts: 1304
Joined: Wed Apr 29, 2009 5:29 pm
Location: Near Edinburgh,Scotland

My intro-how does this sound?

Post by ratfan70 » Fri Jun 10, 2011 8:14 pm

Right my new boys are now 8 and a half weeks so decided to bite the bullet and try the intro to my old lone boy Casper. Casper has been on his own for about a month as his brother who he lived with had to be pts when he developed a tumour. So earlier today the 3 little uns met Caper in the bath. He puffed up a bit and gave them a good sniff, sidled up to them but that was about it. I left them in the bath for about 40 mins and they all settled down.
I have now moved them into a hamster sized cage, the babies are sleeping at one corner and Casper is snoozing in another corner, does this seem ok?
Casper seems to be sqeaking at the newbies if they come near him, i don`t know why, i thought he`d be glad of rattie company, but i guess it will take time.
I have had a few problems introing Casper before, which is why he was in a seperate group with his brother. He is not aggressive during intros, he actually seems a bit scared and does seem to squeak and squeal a lot at new rats. Does anyone know why he might act like this?
The last intro i did i paniced at the first fight and seperated the rats, which i now know was just prolonging the intro, so i`m really just looking for a bit of reassurance from someone who has intro experience.
Hopefully they will start to accept each other and interact soon.
Thanks for reading.
mum/slave to Casper, Rico, Todd, Pepper, Louis, Riley, Cosmo, Alfie & Loki.

Missing my little ones at the bridge: Ziggy, Snowy, Buddy, Rocky & Diesel. RIP Boys!

User avatar
ratfan70
Member
Member
Posts: 1304
Joined: Wed Apr 29, 2009 5:29 pm
Location: Near Edinburgh,Scotland

Re: My intro-how does this sound?

Post by ratfan70 » Sun Jun 12, 2011 12:02 pm

The boys are all still in the bare hamster cage, problem is that they still seem to be avoiding each other. The little ones do approach Casper but he just puffs into a furball and they retreat again. I`m not sure if Casper is a bit overwhelmed by the youngsters pingy-ness, but he doesn`t seem to want to make friends. Earlier today he did pin one of the young ones, who lay still on his back, but that has been it. Would it be worth popping them into a small carrier to force them together? I don`t have a car at the moment so can`t go for a drive but i could always put them in the carrier and see how it goes, or would it be better to be patient and just wait until they start interacting more in the hamster cage?
Any advice welcome!
mum/slave to Casper, Rico, Todd, Pepper, Louis, Riley, Cosmo, Alfie & Loki.

Missing my little ones at the bridge: Ziggy, Snowy, Buddy, Rocky & Diesel. RIP Boys!

User avatar
acapae_wolf
Member
Member
Posts: 14376
Joined: Sat Dec 28, 2002 7:31 pm
Location: SW London
Contact:

Re: My intro-how does this sound?

Post by acapae_wolf » Sun Jun 12, 2011 1:24 pm

How big is the hamster cage they're currently in? Is it actually a size that's suitable for hamsters, or a tiny one marketed as such? If it's not much bigger than the carrier then I wouldn't bother moving them, just because cages are generally easier to catch a quick glimse of how things are going and a bit easier to leave them in for a few days at a time. Squishy, but ok. In a carrier because they're more of a solid build, I'd not want to leave them in for consecutive days in June. It's also a bit harder to tell how things are going if it's not one with a wire top.

How serious was the fight when you split them up? Rats can be very 'obvious' about issues during intros and the amount of leaping about and squeaking can make things seem a lot worse than they are. During intros they tend to majorly exaggerate the usual behaviours - I guess so an individual's stance on the disagreement is more obvious, to minimise the risk to themselves of a more serious fight developing.
*~~Beri~~*
with the ratlings: Orbit, Lanorial, Amdridh, Arkiadera, Esker, Brie, Larka and Foxtrot. Also Anfreda the hamsterling.
:hearts: All those who've moved on

User avatar
ratfan70
Member
Member
Posts: 1304
Joined: Wed Apr 29, 2009 5:29 pm
Location: Near Edinburgh,Scotland

Re: My intro-how does this sound?

Post by ratfan70 » Sun Jun 12, 2011 3:01 pm

Hi, The hamster cage is quite big for a hamster cage, ie: bigger than one that you`d find at pets at home marketed at hamsters. I decided to just leave them for now as they are all sleeping but the 3 little boys in one corner and Casper in another. The fight i mentioned wasn`t with this intro it was one i did last year, it wasn`t a big fight but i saw a bit of blood on the cage and 2 of the other rats had small wounds and i felt awful about the injuries so i seperated them, i never managed to get them all living as a group, so Casper went into a pair with his brother Diesel. Diesel died last month leaving Casper on his own, which is why i got the 3 new babies.
It might be his age but Casper seems to have calmed down since that intro last year, ( he is now 26 months, but is in good health) and is not really demonstrating any really dominance over these boys, but he`s not really showing any signs of sleeping with them or anything either. I`ve given them some food and they all eat out the bowl alright. I just don`t want to move things forward too quickly. I think i might leave them in the bare cage for another day or 2 and then try adding a hammock or someting open to see how they go.
mum/slave to Casper, Rico, Todd, Pepper, Louis, Riley, Cosmo, Alfie & Loki.

Missing my little ones at the bridge: Ziggy, Snowy, Buddy, Rocky & Diesel. RIP Boys!

User avatar
acapae_wolf
Member
Member
Posts: 14376
Joined: Sat Dec 28, 2002 7:31 pm
Location: SW London
Contact:

Re: My intro-how does this sound?

Post by acapae_wolf » Sun Jun 12, 2011 3:45 pm

Ahh, ok, that makes more sense. Sounds like your plan of leaving them in there for a bit longer is a good idea. The first thing I tend to add during intros is an open hammock big enough to easily fit them all in.

I've no idea what cages PAH markets at what though :lol:
*~~Beri~~*
with the ratlings: Orbit, Lanorial, Amdridh, Arkiadera, Esker, Brie, Larka and Foxtrot. Also Anfreda the hamsterling.
:hearts: All those who've moved on

User avatar
RattyRenton
Member
Member
Posts: 2067
Joined: Mon May 18, 2009 10:53 am
Location: Liverpool

Re: My intro-how does this sound?

Post by RattyRenton » Sun Jun 12, 2011 4:14 pm

I'd stick them in the carrier for a few hours, if it's smaller than the cage, and see how they get on. It sounds like they do need forcing to interact more. If you do it at sleepy time they might be too tired to fight and just curl up to sleep :luck: .
Heather x
and the Ratties; Marley, Dylan, Ewan, Charley, Dale, Mitch, Milo, Timmy, Archie, Arthur, Bruce and Basil

:rainbow: Thorston, Si, Dave, Roger and George :dumborainbow:

User avatar
ratfan70
Member
Member
Posts: 1304
Joined: Wed Apr 29, 2009 5:29 pm
Location: Near Edinburgh,Scotland

Re: My intro-how does this sound?

Post by ratfan70 » Sun Jun 12, 2011 5:28 pm

acapae_wolf wrote:Ahh, ok, that makes more sense. Sounds like your plan of leaving them in there for a bit longer is a good idea. The first thing I tend to add during intros is an open hammock big enough to easily fit them all in.

I've no idea what cages PAH markets at what though :lol:
Yes i meant that the cage they are in is one that is suitable for a hamster, rather than what pet shops would actually sell you as suitable.. :???: , a bit smaller base than the freddy but not anything as high. The cage says fop on the side but i don`t know the actual name. I decided i`m going to leave them for a bit longer, and see how they go. If by tomorrow afternoon they are still at opposite ends i will pop them in a carrier. The carrier i have does have a wire top but is solid at the sides, and the mesh at the front has quite wide gaps, so i wouldn`t really like to leave them in it unattended incase the little ones can squeeze through the mesh.
Thanks to all who have given advice so far.
mum/slave to Casper, Rico, Todd, Pepper, Louis, Riley, Cosmo, Alfie & Loki.

Missing my little ones at the bridge: Ziggy, Snowy, Buddy, Rocky & Diesel. RIP Boys!

User avatar
ratfan70
Member
Member
Posts: 1304
Joined: Wed Apr 29, 2009 5:29 pm
Location: Near Edinburgh,Scotland

Re: My intro-how does this sound?

Post by ratfan70 » Tue Jun 14, 2011 9:43 am

Well, Im` still at a bit of a standstill with this intro.. :roll: I have added a hammock, at first Casper had a snooze in it, but the little ones kept away. There were a few squabbles but nothing too bad so i left them overnight with the hammock, and this morning they were still sleeping in their seperate corners. Casper did go into the hammock at one point and a couple of the little boys climbed up, he puffed up a bit and squeaked at them but that was it.
Then the wee ones had a playfight and one of them (Loki) landed on Casper as he was snoozing, then he really got the hump and chased Loki and pinned him. The others all scarpered. I`m not sure where to go next. I don`t feel they are bonded enough to move them to a bigger cage. I may well have to put them into the carrier for a night or 2 to force them together. They havn`t had freerange since Friday, which i feel bad about, especially the little ones as they do have a lot of energy. Would letting them freerange in a neutral area maybe help wear the little boys out. I had heard a few people on here mention that their old men really came to life after getting some youngsters as company, but it really doesn`t seem to be happening for me.. :-?
mum/slave to Casper, Rico, Todd, Pepper, Louis, Riley, Cosmo, Alfie & Loki.

Missing my little ones at the bridge: Ziggy, Snowy, Buddy, Rocky & Diesel. RIP Boys!

User avatar
acapae_wolf
Member
Member
Posts: 14376
Joined: Sat Dec 28, 2002 7:31 pm
Location: SW London
Contact:

Re: My intro-how does this sound?

Post by acapae_wolf » Tue Jun 14, 2011 2:25 pm

If they're still sleeping in seperate corners I would take the hammock out - I don't add anything until they've been sleeping in one big pile for a couple of nights. That way I can more safely assume that they'll all move to the hammock and after a bit of sorting things out everyone will pile up in there from then on.

If you're pondering about the carrier again then I'd go for it - moving them back down when they don't need to won't hold anything back, but not doing so if you do need to will. if that makes sense? They won't really loose out in the long run by being in the carrier again. You can take it too fast, but you can't take it too slowly :)

The coming to life thing only tends to be once they're all settled for the most part - any energy at the minute will be being used for intros/ hierachical ordering things.

I've not done any boy-boy intros, so I can't really comment on whether the free range aspect will put them off. With girls in similar circumstances I've taken the babies out for very short and contained free range on a bed/ sofa if they're getting too manic. But for the most part they have to just deal with the small space in that the grumpier they are with each other, the sooner they'll sort their problems out :lol:
*~~Beri~~*
with the ratlings: Orbit, Lanorial, Amdridh, Arkiadera, Esker, Brie, Larka and Foxtrot. Also Anfreda the hamsterling.
:hearts: All those who've moved on

User avatar
ratfan70
Member
Member
Posts: 1304
Joined: Wed Apr 29, 2009 5:29 pm
Location: Near Edinburgh,Scotland

Re: My intro-how does this sound?

Post by ratfan70 » Tue Jun 14, 2011 4:30 pm

Thanks for the help. I`ve just plonked them all in the carrier and will leave them there o/night or for a couple of nights and with any luck they will sort things out.
mum/slave to Casper, Rico, Todd, Pepper, Louis, Riley, Cosmo, Alfie & Loki.

Missing my little ones at the bridge: Ziggy, Snowy, Buddy, Rocky & Diesel. RIP Boys!

User avatar
Mini-moon
Member
Member
Posts: 17
Joined: Thu Jun 09, 2011 3:47 pm

Re: My intro-how does this sound?

Post by Mini-moon » Thu Jun 16, 2011 2:49 pm

Hi,

Have you tried dabbing them all with vanilla essence on the back of their necks? This way they will all smell the same and may even want to start grooming eachother to get a taste of the yummy vanilla ;) Worked a treat with my guys. Maybe the reason they are at opposite ends of the cage is the different scent and that they dont want to approach eachother because of it? I'd say its looking promising though as although they arent interacting, they also arent laying in to eachother! ;)

I've heard the general rule for any fights is not to intervene unless they draw blood. Fights during introductions look A LOT worse than what they actually are. The noises, the puffing up, screeching, both standing on back legs and 'boxing' all to be expected. If they do have a bit of a scrap, they will just be establishing a pecking order. But yeah of course if you start seeing red- get em outta there!

Hope this helps!
Let us know how you get on! :)

Meesh xx :love:
Meesh and the ratty-lumps: Marley, Salem, Calvin, Hoodsey and Syd

User avatar
sati18
Member
Member
Posts: 2231
Joined: Tue Apr 01, 2008 11:44 am

Re: My intro-how does this sound?

Post by sati18 » Thu Jun 16, 2011 3:36 pm

Just to say- i know you'll feel evil and they will be bored, but extended time in the carrier won'tkill them. i've had 7 rats in this hamster cage for a week before to force them to bond:

Image

you need them to be totally interracting normally- sleeping together, grooming each other, investigating what the other is eating.... all of that. NOT sitting on opposite sides of the cage- that just means they have each claimed a side, and the others aren't allowed in it.

Vnilla essence helped my recent intro, but only the first time i applied it liberally to the tails and scruff of each rat. they were all puffin up for a rumble and the smell confused them so they all settled down to groom rather than fight.

if you have acar,take them for a decent drive in the carrier (half hour to an hour or so). you should see that the fear of the car overwhelms the fear of new ratand they all huddletogether in one corner. this is good as you want them to get used to the idea that the other rat isn't going to hurt them.

if casper is still scared of them you could try holding his neck down when they come over for a sniff. he won't appreciate it, but again it will teach him that all they are doing is sniffing not hurting him. i had to do this with toby and george in my recent intros because every time the babies came over for a friendly sniff or a snuffle, they froze and either ran off or lunged for the face of the baby to force them away. with a bit of forcing them to stay still, they soon learned it was nothing to make a fuss about. it's probably not an approved intro technique but it worked for my last lot who were an absolute nightmare :roll:
Proudly owned by the big boys (Jeff, George & Toby) and the babbies (Sid & Ozzy)
RIP Monty, Emile, Leo, Angus, Otto, Remy and Rafe... mummy misses you every day.

User avatar
ratfan70
Member
Member
Posts: 1304
Joined: Wed Apr 29, 2009 5:29 pm
Location: Near Edinburgh,Scotland

Re: My intro-how does this sound?

Post by ratfan70 » Thu Jun 16, 2011 6:53 pm

Hi, Thanks for the helpful suggestions so far. Well the boys have been in the carrier since Tues afternoon, i was beginning to get really fed-up, but today i came in from work and 2 of the wee guys were sleeping next to Casper. I plan to keep them in there for another 24 hours. I have to take my daughter to camp tomorrow evening so will take the boys with us for the drive (it`s about 40 mins each way) Then i`ll try them again in the hamster sized cage. Sati, the pic of your cage really reminded me of my boys... :lol:
I did have a try with vanilla essence on my last intro but i must admit i never found any difference in the behaviour of my lads, but i will keep it in mind,if things start to stall again.
Hopefully i`ll update with good news soon.
mum/slave to Casper, Rico, Todd, Pepper, Louis, Riley, Cosmo, Alfie & Loki.

Missing my little ones at the bridge: Ziggy, Snowy, Buddy, Rocky & Diesel. RIP Boys!

User avatar
acapae_wolf
Member
Member
Posts: 14376
Joined: Sat Dec 28, 2002 7:31 pm
Location: SW London
Contact:

Re: My intro-how does this sound?

Post by acapae_wolf » Fri Jun 17, 2011 1:25 am

Personally I think rats are far too clever to fall for thinking "ahha, this rat smells of vanilla like me. He must be part of my group and I've just forgotten! How silly of me, welcome back " :lol:

Glad things are going better.
*~~Beri~~*
with the ratlings: Orbit, Lanorial, Amdridh, Arkiadera, Esker, Brie, Larka and Foxtrot. Also Anfreda the hamsterling.
:hearts: All those who've moved on

User avatar
sati18
Member
Member
Posts: 2231
Joined: Tue Apr 01, 2008 11:44 am

Re: My intro-how does this sound?

Post by sati18 » Fri Jun 17, 2011 11:49 am

^^^ no but the first time my boys were exposed to it they stopped mid rumble. probably just the fact that they were all suddenly drenched in an unfamiliar smell that made them pause for thought.
Proudly owned by the big boys (Jeff, George & Toby) and the babbies (Sid & Ozzy)
RIP Monty, Emile, Leo, Angus, Otto, Remy and Rafe... mummy misses you every day.

Locked

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 12 guests